Maricopa County Won't Appeal Ban on Self-Smuggling Prosecutions

Categories: News
bill-montgomery-top-10.jpg
Matthew Hendley
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.


Maricopa County won't appeal a federal judge's ruling that prevents county officials from prosecuting undocumented immigrants for smuggling themselves into the country.

Such prosecutions were started by now-disbarred former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, using a relatively new anti-smuggling law that was enacted to target human smugglers, not those being smuggled. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office under Sheriff Joe Arpaio agreed to make these arrests, and the prosecutions continued under current County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

A federal judge ruled in September that Arpaio and Montgomery could not continue to use this policy, stating that it conflicts with federal law, which does not consider it a crime to be in the country unlawfully.

"The County Attorney did not agree with the ruling, however we respect it and we will abide by it," Montgomery's spokesman Jerry Cobb tells New Times. "There is no change in his position that the federal government is not doing enough to meet its obligation of controlling the borders."

See also:
-Arpaio Can't Arrest People for Smuggling Themselves Into Country, Judge Rules
-Montgomery Prosecuting Fewer Immigrants for Smuggling Themselves

This week, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved paying $675,000 to We Are America/Somos America, the immigrant-rights group that filed the lawsuit, for attorneys' fees.

"The County Attorney made the decision that there really is no viable avenue to appeal the ruling that the district court imposed," Cobb says.

In September, U.S. District Judge Robert Broomfield ordered that Arpaio, Montgomery, and their successors not use this policy because it "effectively criminalizes conduct which federal law does not."

"More specifically, by deeming it a felony for unlawfully present aliens to conspire to transport themselves, the Policy is 'criminalizing unlawful presence, a stance plainly at odds with federal law,'" Broomfield wrote.

The policy had previously survived a challenge in state court, but this federal lawsuit is what's putting an end to the policy.

Our colleague Ray Stern has reported that there were 294 people prosecuted for self-smuggling in 2008, 493 in 2009, 369 in 2010, 330 in 2011, and 155 through most of 2012. (Montgomery took office in 2010.)

Meanwhile, in a separate lawsuit, a federal judge has had to order Arpaio's office not to racially profile Latinos.

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Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.




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21 comments
Nathan Schneider
Nathan Schneider

Idiots. 1. It's a federal issue. 2. A lawsuit would unnecessarily waste tax payer money. 3. What would the punishment be if they were found guilty after a lengthy court case? Prohibited from entering the United States? Or maybe jail time?

andyseattl
andyseattl

These people are making fools of the people of AZ.  Its sad how low this state has been taken to by these extremists in power positions. 


One day the people will wake up but not until these fear mongers have already walked away with personal fortunes.


Its a sad future for AZ and its legacy.  History wont be kind.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Such prosecutions were started by now-disbarred former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas,


Scum of the Earth.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

Risk management said "HELL NO".

vserve62
vserve62

I never really thought about it like that before. Makes pretty good sense dude.


www.WentAnon.tk

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

This ruling seems wrong  Example if I hire someone to commit a crime for me and he gets caught and then implicates me as the mastermind behind it wouldn't I be just as guilty or more so? 

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

This is just political pandering by MontyPug in order to either retain his current position or obtain a higher position.

I suspect that MontyPug will continue his legal assaults on immigrants by continuing to use this clearly failed policy as soon as he's re-elected to MCAO or elected to Attorney General.

andyseattl
andyseattl

@ConcernedCitizenAZ  In May, 2014, Thomas filed nominating petitions to get on the Republican ballot as a governor's candidate in the August 26, 2014 primary election.


The damage these people want to inflict at a steep price for the people of AZ will never end.


And they think this is a place to raise a family?  

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@ConcernedCitizenAZ  You know liberal jerkoffs  like you always have an image in their screw up minds that they know better. The problem is most of your way of thinking and policies put forth  over the last 60 years are failures

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@john043012 ... mastermind is a word that never has been and never will be used to describe you.


hth.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@john043012 Solicit an undercover cop to carry out a hit on your ex-bf and you'll find out.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@john043012 ... did your mother raise you to be a shitsucking imbecile, or is that a skill you perfected on your own?



ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

@ConcernedCitizenAZ @ExpertShot That's because the good ole boys who supported Apayaso were in power.  Not there no more.  The Board of Sups ain't gonna be backing Shurf Joe no mo.  I imagine there's a lot shredding parties going on at the Board of County Sups and has been for quite a while - covering up their illegal support of this fascist pig Arpaio.



john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@car_del99 I would like to know your personal definition of the word illegal . If a coyote is caught ,if a drop house is exposed or if a group of them are just strolling in the desert and are caught aren't most if not all of them detained until I,C,E. harnesses them and eventually has them deported ? There must be some type of crime being committed no. The other issue here , if an illegal was captured and deported and re enters and is captured again he goes to prison has a felony attached to him along with a lifetime ban on legal entry If he or she didn't commit a crime on their first entry how can he be lawfully prosecuted for the second, third ,fourth or fifth entry ?

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

To the person on here who thinks he or she is a smart ass by using 5-6 blog names I would have thought after a while with wrestling for a dumb ass reply to my posed question above you would have at the very least thrown out an insult.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@john043012 ... oh yes, when you're a paranoid schizophrenic, EVERYONE is Donkey.


Stay stupid, it's your best attribute.



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